IPTV Stopped Working
Today, one of the largest pirate IPTV services was taken offline by the Dutch fiscal police (FIOD). Four people were arrested while searches were carried out at various business and residential addresses, where cars, computers, bank accounts and large sums of cash were confiscated.
Dutch fiscal police have carried out a large-scale raid that appears to have taken down one of Europe’s largest IPTV operations servicing more than a million users. No services or companies are being named but according to local anti-piracy outfit BREIN, the targeted organization sold access via third-party resellers. Meanwhile, Dutch data center Globe went completely dark.
The raids and searches were carried out in multiple cities throughout the Netherlands including Amsterdam, Almere, Enschede, The Hague, and Den Helder.
The name of the IPTV operation is not mentioned by the authorities but it appears to be massive. Local anti-piracy group BREIN reports that TVs in hundreds of thousands of homes went dark due to the raids. Europol, which also assisted in the operation, mentions that the service had over a million users across Europe.
“This is the largest criminal investigation by the Dutch fiscal police FIOD and the Dutch prosecution into digital piracy in the Netherlands ever,” says BREIN director Tim Kuik commenting on the news.
“Illegal IPTV is the most serious threat to legal offerings of movies, series, television and sports broadcasts. This case concerns a criminal organization behind the large-scale sale of illegal IPTV subscriptions in the Netherlands and elsewhere. It involves tens of millions of euros in damages in the Netherlands alone.”
Data Center Offline?
Dutch police highlight that the IPTV service was distributed from a data center in Den Helder. While we can only speculate, this could be GLOBE DataCenter, whose office is located there. The data center’s website is unreachable at the time of writing so the entire network could be offline.
TorrentFreak reached out to GLOBE for a comment but the company didn’t immediately reply. However, these suspicions are strengthened (not confirmed) by a photo of the police action in a Dutch news report, which features the office of GLOBE.
This certainly isn’t the first large-scale IPTV takedown in Europe. We have seen several of these operations in other countries, including Spain where an ‘unnamed’ IPTV service with two million users was pulled offline.
IPTV stopped working
Apparently, other IPTV services continue to step up to fill the void. This is no surprise; to some people, a potential revenue stream of one billion euros per year sounds like an opportunity, rather than a threat. However, today’s action shows that the risk isn’t just hypothetical.